Do ya’ll remember these ladies?
That’s me with Juliet Gotthardt and Erika Hurst at my first powerlifting meet in January. We met on the interwebz and have been besties ever since. Thanks the the magical world of social media, we can stay on the up-and-up and get to talk all the time. It’s 50% trolling, 40% fun-ness, 10% fitness, and 100% awesome. We even gave ourselves a team name, and we’re “At Steak”
This past weekend we had a refresher on absolute awesomeness, when Juliet and I visited Erika in Wallingford, CT, to check out her new training facility. That’s right, Erika’s living the dream, and just opened her own gym, Hurst Strength. What what!!
After a slower-than-planned start and massive breakfast with my ladyfriend, we left Long Island, hit I-95 to Rt. 15., and we were ready to lift. But Juliet and Erika and nowhere to be found. Da fuq? Turns out we were so late that they had a grocery store run to fuel up for the big lifts. I can respect that. Once inside, this is what we saw:
Erika’s boyfriend Steve came by to say, “Hi!” and make me envious of his beard, and we ran Juliet through the FMS, so we can do programming for her. Then, it was time to train.
It looked like a group workout; everyone was foam rolling, mobilizing, and activating, and it seemed as if we were all do it together. Alas, we weren’t, and we moved into lifting. Funny enough, everybody started with deadlifting; and that’s why we’re all friendsies. Erika did several deadlift variations, I followed my snatch grip deadlifts with cleans and several upper body lifts, Juliet did some speed deadlifts and benching, and Maggie did deadlifts, chin-ups, and walking suitcase lunges. Since we started together, we ended together, and everyone took turns flipping Erika’s tire. Here are several pictures from the day:
Erika’s working on her rack pull while I’m doing fat bar pull-ups in the background. If you see pink stripes on her back/butt, it’s because Juliet brought her some colored chalk:
Speaking of Juliet, here she is rocking out her deadlift as I flip the tire. Curiously, Erika’s gym is in black and white. #NoFilter.
In addition to those dope deadlifts, Juliet also derped around with her bench press:
Erika is boss enough to have a belt to load body weight exercises, and I did some parallel grip pull ups. Maggie is deadlifting/looking at my butt:
After we were done lifting, the gang ventured to the local Wood N’ Tap to ensure proper nutritionization while the anabolic window was still open. We must preserve the gainz. Feast complete, we returned to Hurst Strength to talk shop about life, training, and overall awesomeness. If you’re interested, Erika has a thing for cats. I don’t really get it.
Feline fetish aside, Hurst Strength is a pretty dope facility. Erika has two squat racks, two trap bars, a handful of barbells, some serious weight including bumper plates, and a full set of dumbbells. She has a push sled, battling ropes, a tire to flip, and assorted tools (foam rollers, bands) for full-on sexification.
How should you read that? It’s more than fully equipped for you to train hard. More importantly, you’ve got Erika Hurst. She’s passionate about the influence of strength, movement and recovery on building a healthy body and mind. She takes a no-nonsense approach to helping her clients surpass their goals in a simple, sustainable way.
Should you be training hard? Hell yes you should. Erika makes you do that. (She’s called me out on my own half assery a few times.) You’ll train hard but you’ll also train smart, learning how to enhance the performance, body composition and health through intelligent, well-balanced and individualized programming. And, if you get strong enough, Erika might let you row her:
It was 98.2 miles from my house on Long Island to Erika’s gym, and the ride took about two hours. If I could do that every Saturday, I’d be up there. If you’re in the Wallingford area, I ask you to do me a favor and check the place out in my stead. If you’re not sure if you’re close, check HERE. To check out the Hurst Strength Facebook page, click HERE. For an awesome high-five, click HERE.
I had a blasty blast lifting with at Hurst Strength with my friends, and you will too. When you visit, tell Erika I say hi, and the next time Juliet and I are in the area, we’ll have a big ol’ deadlift party together.